Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
Acute lymphocytic leukemia also known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is a cancer of the blood that develops from white blood cells called lymphocytes. Acute lymphocytic leukemia occurs when too many immature white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and multiply out of control. It is the most common type of cancer in children.
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia
Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a type of blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow. It progresses rapidly and crowds out healthy blood cells. Acute myelogenous leukemia typically affects adults
Amyloidosis (pronounced am-uh-loy-DO-sis) is a rare but potentially fatal medical condition in which abnormal proteins, called amyloids, build up in the body’s organs, interfering with their proper functioning. Amyloidosis is not cancer, but it has been associated with a blood cancer known as multiple myeloma. The organs most often affected by amyloidosis are the liver, kidneys, spleen, heart, stomach, intestines, and nervous system. Amyloidosis has no cure but its symptoms can be curtailed by medical treatment.
Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells which can grow together to form masses called tumors. Anal cancer is a rare type of cancer that starts in the cells lining the anus, the short tube that connects the lower part of the large intestine to the outside of the body through which waste passes.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. It originates in the skin’s basal layer, among cells known as keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are responsible for protecting the body from environmental damage. Cells in the basal layer are also responsible for creating new cells to replace old ones that die and are sloughed off. Basal cell carcinomas frequently develop on parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight or other, artificial sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Bile Duct Cancer
Sometimes, cancer affects the bile ducts, the thin tubes that connect the liver to the small intestine. Cancer can affect the part of the bile duct outside of the liver (extrahepatic bile duct) or, more rarely, the bile duct inside the liver (intrahepatic bile duct).
When the bladder is affected by cancer, it usually begins in the cells that line the bladder. The cancer cells grow into a tumor and can invade and damage normal organs and tissues. Bladder cancer is more common in people over age 60.
A blood cancer is a disease in which abnormal blood cells reproduce rapidly and begin interfering with the body’s usual operations. Cancers of this type originate in the bone marrow. There are three primary blood cancers: leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
Bone cancer is a rare cancer that begins in a bone, most frequently within an arm or leg bone. There are several types of bone cancer, some are more common in children while others primarily affect adults.
Brain and Spinal Tumors
A brain tumor is a lump of tissue caused by abnormal and/or uncontrolled cell growth. Brain tumors emerge from the various cells that comprise the brain and central nervous system and are named for the cell type from which they form. There are more than 120 types of brain tumors that exist.
Breast cancer usually develops in glands that make milk, called lobules, or in the milk ducts. Ductal or lobular cancer happens when abnormal cells grow together and form tumors. There are two types of breast cancer, invasive and non-invasive. In invasive breast cancer, abnormal cells in the ducts or lobules spread through the bloodstream or lymph system to surrounding tissue and eventually other parts of the body, either early or late in the disease. Non-invasive breast cancer cells are contained to the area where they develop.
Burkitt’s lymphoma is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This cancer starts in a type of immune cells called B-cells and the disease causes impaired immunity. While it can be cured, if left untreated it will quickly grow.
Carcinoid tumors are slow-growing cancers that originate primarily in the lungs or the digestive tract, but can spread to other parts of the body. Because carcinoid tumors develop in a variety of locations, they can be difficult to diagnose, with early symptoms that are similar to those of less-serious medical conditions. Though a malignant form of cancer, carcinoid tumors can be effectively treated; studies have documented a five-year survival rate in the range of 70 to 80 percent.
Cervical cancer begins in the cells that line the cervix. The main types of cervical cancer are:
- Squamous cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of cervical cancer, starts in the thin, flat cells that line the cervix.
- Adenocarcinoma, which starts in the cells that line the cervix that make mucus.
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells which form in the bone marrow. When cancerous blood cells form, they crowd out healthy blood cells. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell which helps the body fight infection. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia tends to progress more slowly than other types of leukemia, which is why it’s known as “chronic” rather than “acute.”
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
Chronic myelogenous leukemia is an uncommon type of cancer that usually occurs during or after middle age. It is usually a slowly progressing disease of the white blood cells in the bone marrow. In chronic myelogenous leukemia, abnormal and undeveloped white blood cells grow too quickly and don’t work as they should.
The colon is the large intestine in the lower portion of the digestive tract. Cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow together and form masses called tumors. In most cases, colon cancer develops as noncancerous clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps that can become cancerous over time.
Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a rare cancer that occurs when lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, grow and multiply uncontrollably and attack the skin. CTCL can cause rash-like patches or bumps on the skin and may spread to other parts of the body.
Duodenal cancer is a rare form of cancer in the duodenum, the first and shortest of three parts of the small intestine. The other two parts of the small intestine are the jejunum and the ileum. Shaped like a horseshoe, the duodenum sits between the stomach and the jejunum. Duodenal cancer often produces a duodenal tumor that, left untreated, can grow in mass over time and affect the duodenum.
Duodenal cancer disrupts the digestive process, preventing needed nutrients from reaching the body.
Endometrial cancer is cancer of the uterus (womb) that develops in the inner lining of the uterus. Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells that grow together to form tumors.
Esophageal cancer develops in the long, hollow tube that connects the throat and stomach. It usually begins in the cells of the esophageal lining, and it can occur anywhere along the esophagus. In the United States, it more often appears in the lower part of the esophagus.
Ewing sarcoma is a type of bone cancer that most often affects children and teens. It originates in the cells inside or on the exterior of the bone, in muscle, fat, fibrous tissue or blood vessels. These tumors most often form along the backbone, the pelvis, arms and legs.
Gallbladder cancer is a rare cancer that begins in the pear-shaped organ on the right side of the abdomen, beneath the liver, which stores bile that is produced by the liver.
Glioblastoma is a malignant, fast-growing brain cancer. Glioblastomas are one of a larger group of brain and spinal cancers called gliomas. Gliomas form in the glial cells, which are non-neuronal cells that support the functioning of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Glioblastomas can develop at any age but are most common in older men.
Gynecologic cancers are cancers of the female reproductive system including: ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, vagina and vulva. Cancers of the uterus and ovaries are among the ten leading cancers in women.
Hairy Cell Leukemia
Hairy cell leukemia is a rare, slowly progressing blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. Hairy cell leukemia develops when the DNA of a developing B lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) becomes damaged, or mutated. The damaged blood cell looks “hairy” under a microscope. As that damaged cell multiplies, it passes on the mutation. These mutated cells no longer do the job of the healthy B lymphocyte, nor do they follow a normal pattern of cell life and death. Eventually, the mutated B lymphocytes begin to outnumber healthy white cells, red cells and platelets.
Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancers typically begin in the cells that line the tissue inside the head and neck, including the mouth, nose, throat and salivary glands.
Hodgkin disease (HD) is a type of lymphoma, which is a cancer of the blood that originates in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system works with the immune system and helps to fight infections and get rid of any waste. HD develops in the white blood cells. In people who have HD, the white blood cells (lymphocytes) develop at an abnormal rate and spread beyond the lymphatic system.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common form of breast cancer. It originates in the cells that form the lining of the milk ducts and spreads from there to the surrounding tissues. The cancerous mass it produces can be relatively symptom-free and often requires self-examination, a mammogram, or other forms of medical imaging for detection.
Kaposi sarcoma is a cancer that can cause patches of abnormal tissue to grow under the skin, in the mouth, nose or throat, or in the gastrointestinal tract in people with weakened immune systems. These skin lesions can appear on several parts of the body at one time.
If the cancer spreads, it can affect organs including the lungs, liver, stomach and intestines, as well as the lymph nodes. The four types of Kaposi sarcoma include:
- HIV-related Kaposi sarcoma
- Classic Kaposi sarcoma
- Transplant-related Kaposi sarcoma
- Endemic African Kaposi Sarcoma
Kidney cancer happens when abnormal cells grow together in the kidney to form tumors. Kidney cancer typically begins in the lining of the kidney and can eventually affect how the kidney is able to clean the blood and make urine.
Laryngeal cancer is cancer of the larynx or voice box. Your larynx is critical to your ability to swallow, breathe, and speak. Laryngeal cancer is one of the more common head and neck cancers. Laryngeal cancer is a serious threat to health but, if caught and treated early, can be cured.
Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells which form in the bone marrow. When cancerous blood cells form, they crowd out healthy blood cells. White blood cells are the most common type of blood cell to become cancerous. But red blood cells and platelets may also become cancerous. Leukemia can be classified as one of the following:
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL): This cancer starts from the early version of white blood cells, called lymphocytes, in the bone marrow. It progresses quickly without treatment.
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML): In this type of cancer, the bone marrow makes abnormal myeloblasts (a type of white blood cell), red blood cells or platelets. It also progresses quickly without treatment.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL): In this type of cancer, the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes. It progresses slowly without treatment.
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML): In this cancer, a genetic change takes place in an early (immature) version of myeloid cells – cells that make red blood cells, platelets and most types of white blood cells (except lymphocytes). This change forms an abnormal gene, which turns the cell into a CML cell. It typically progresses slowly without treatment.
- Hairy cell leukemia (HCL): This is a rare, slow-growing cancer of the blood in which the bone marrow makes too many B-cells (lymphocytes), a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Progression is typically slow without treatment.
- Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML): In this type, there are increased numbers of monocytes and immature blood cells in the peripheral blood and bone marrow, as well as abnormal looking cells (dysplasia) in at least one type of blood cell. It can progress to other types, like AML.
- Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML): This cancer occurs when too many immature white blood cells, called myelocytes and monocytes, are made in the bone marrow. JMML can also progress to other types, like AML.
- Large granular lymphocytic leukemia (LGL): This chronic leukemia affects white blood cells called lymphocytes, which fight off infection. LGL leukemia is characterized by enlarged lymphocytes containing noticeable granules. There are two types of LGL, and each may be slow-growing or aggressive.
- Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN): This rare, aggressive cancer is a type of AML with features of both leukemia and lymphoma. It involves the skin.
Liver cancer can start in the normal cells of the liver. Most often though, cancer spreads to the liver through the blood, which can carry cancer cells from another area of the body. Liver cancer affects the largest organ inside the body. The liver breaks down food for energy, repairs tissues and helps blood clot to stop bleeding. The liver also filters alcohol, drugs and toxins in the blood before they are excreted.
There are three types of liver cancer:
- Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type and can be life-threatening.
- Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is less common and it affects the bile ducts.
- Hepatoblastoma is a rare cancer typically found in children.
Lung cancer typically begins in the bronchi or bronchioles (airways of the lungs) or the alveoli (air sacs). While there are more than 20 forms of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer are most common. There are three main types:
- Adenocarcinoma: This type of slow-growing lung cancer begins in the cells that line the alveoli and make substances such as mucus.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This type of lung cancer starts in the flat cells that line the inside of the airways. It is often found in the central part of the lungs and is typically linked to a history of smoking.
- Large cell carcinoma: This type of lung cancer can affect any part of the lung and tends to grow and spread quickly.
Small cell lung cancer tends to be fast-growing and spreads more quickly than non-small cell lung cancers. There are two types of small cell lung cancer:
- Small cell carcinoma: This type of lung cancer occurs most often in people who smoke.
- Combined small cell carcinoma: This type of lung cancer occurs most often in adults over age 65 who smoke.
Sometimes cancer and/or cancer treatment can damage the lymph nodes or vessels that produce and carry lymph fluid, which helps fight infection and filters toxins and waste throughout the body. When this happens, lymph fluid can build up in the fatty tissues under the skin at the site of the tumor or treatment and cause swelling. This buildup is called lymphedema.
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that arises from a lymphocyte, a type of white blood cell, and affects the lymphatic system. There are two main types of lymphoma: non-Hodgkin (NHL) and Hodgkin.
Male Breast Cancer
Hodgkin lymphoma arises from cancer in a lymphocyte, a type of white blood cell that helps to fight infection. Hodgkin lymphoma is distinguished from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. Based on characteristics of the disease, Hodgkin lymphoma is divided into two main subtypes, classical Hodgkin lymphoma and Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma also arises from cancer of a lymphocyte and develops in the lymph nodes, lymphatic tissues, or bone marrow and blood. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be characterized as either slow-growing (indolent) or fast-growing (aggressive).
In both cases, the cancerous lymphocyte multiplies and begins to crowd out normal white blood cells. These cancerous cells can grow and form masses throughout our bodies in the lymphatic system.
While breast cancer is most commonly thought of as a woman’s disease, it also affects about 1 percent of men. Breast cancer occurs when cells begin growing abnormally in breast tissue and form a tumor. These cells may spread through the breast to the lymph nodes under the arm and elsewhere in the body. Breast cancer is usually detected in males by noticing a lump underneath the nipple and areola. Early detection is critical, as men usually don’t assume a lump would be breast cancer and often wait too long before consulting with their doctor.
Melanoma develops when the pigment-producing cells of the skin, called melanocytes, become abnormal and grow to form tumors. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Most frequently, melanoma develop in areas of the skin that have had exposure to the sun, such as face, arms, back and legs. In addition to skin, melanoma can develop in the eye and in areas that have little to no exposure to the sun.
Mesothelioma can be benign or life-threatening. Life-threatening mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer that affects cells that line the thin membranes that cover the lungs, abdomen and heart. It often develops years after exposure to asbestos. There are four main areas where malignant mesothelioma occurs in the body:
- Plural mesothelioma: Tumors develop within the chest in the cells that line the pleura, which cover the lung and the middle part of the chest.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: This type develops in the abdomen.
- Pericardial mesothelioma: This very rare type of cancer develops in the sac-like covering around the heart and can mimic other heart conditions.
- Testicular mesothelioma: This very rare type of cancer develops in the tissue which covers the testicles.
Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, refers to any cancer that develops in the parts that make up the mouth, including the:
- Floor of the mouth
- Inside lining of the cheeks
- Roof of the mouth
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that makes antibodies which help fight bacteria and viruses in the body. Multiple myeloma begins in the bone marrow. The unhealthy plasma cells multiply in bone marrow and produce soft spots, or lesions, on the bone.
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of cancers resulting from unhealthy cell production by blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow. The cells that are produced fail to mature or are abnormally shaped and often die shortly after entering the bloodstream. MDS can potentially affect any of the three major blood-cell types, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Complications include anemia, regular infections, and easy bleeding and bruising. In a minority of cases, MDS develops into a fast-growing and dangerous cancer of the bone marrow, known as acute myeloid leukemia.
Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells – a type of white blood cells – that begins in the bone marrow. Myeloma can be classified as one of the following:
- Multiple myeloma: This form affects more than one area of the body, and cancer cells create abnormal proteins that can damage the kidneys.
- Plasmacytoma: This type occurs when only one site of myeloma cells is evident in the body, such as a tumor in the bone or soft tissues.
- Localized myeloma: In this form, myeloma is evident in a few neighboring sites throughout the body, but it has not spread extensively.
- Extramedullary myeloma: This type encompasses myeloma present in tissue other than the marrow, such as the skin, muscles or lungs.
- Plasma cell leukemia (PCL): This myeloma causes malignant cells to accumulate in bone marrow and circulate in high numbers in the bloodstream.
Nasal and Sinus Cancer
Nasal and sinus cancers are malignant growths that develop in the passageways of the nose or in the air-filled cavities behind the nose – the paranasal sinuses. There are several types of nasal and sinus cancers, including squamous cell carcinomas, melanomas, sarcomas, inverting papillomas, and midline granulomas. These vary in degree of risk and how they respond to treatment.
Neuroendocrine tumors are potentially cancerous growths that originate in neuroendocrine cells -- specialized cells that support both the nervous and hormone-producing endocrine systems. Neuroendocrine tumors can appear in a wide range of locations. The most common sites include the lungs, the digestive tract, the pancreas, and the adrenal gland. Neuroendocrine tumors can be malignant or benign. Those that metastasize (spread) to other sites in the body pose the greatest health risk.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer of the white blood cells, or lymphocytes. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are divided into two main groups: B-cell lymphomas and T-cell lymphomas, and more than 60 sub-types based on location and features of the lymphocyte. Cancerous lymphocytes can travel to many parts of the body, where they can accumulate and develop into tumors.
Osteosarcoma is a rare bone cancer. It typically forms tumors in the thigh bone near the end of the knee or in the upper arm. Osteosarcoma weakens the affected bone and is most often diagnosed in children and young adults.
Ovarian cancer happens when abnormal cells grow together in the ovaries of the female reproductive system and form masses called tumors. The main types of ovarian cancer are:
- Epithelial tumors, which start in the lining on the outside of the ovaries.
- Germ cell cancer, which starts in the egg-producing cells of the ovaries.
- Sex cord stromal tumors, which begin in the connective tissue of the ovaries.
Pancreatic cancer can start in the tissues of the pancreas, which lies behind the lower part of the stomach and helps with digestion and controls blood sugar. Pancreatic cancer is sometimes called a “silent disease” because it may not cause symptoms in the early stages.
Parathyroid cancer is a cancerous growth, or tumor, on one of the parathyroid glands. There are four of these glands, two on top of each lobe of the thyroid gland at the base of the neck. These glands control levels of calcium in the body.
The pea-sized pituitary gland is located behind the eyes and below the front of the brain. This small gland creates hormones that control body organs and affect growth, blood pressure, sexual function, heart rate and stress. Pituitary gland tumors develop from abnormal tissue growth and most are noncancerous.
Prostate cancer happens when abnormal cancerous cells develop and grow together to form masses called tumors in the small, walnut-shaped prostate gland in a man’s pelvis. One of the most common types of cancer in men, prostate cancer is typically slow-growing and, when detected early, may be treated in multiple ways including active surveillance. In some cases, however, the cancer may be more aggressive and spread quickly.
Rectal cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, occurs when abnormal cells grow together and form tumors in the rectum. The rectum is at the end of the digestive tract, between the colon and anus. In the rectum, cancer most often develops as noncancerous clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. These polyps become cancerous over time. Rectal cancer can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body.
Rhabdomyosarcoma happens when abnormal cells grow together in the muscles and connective tissue to form masses called tumors. This rare cancer occurs most often in children and young adults. It most commonly forms in the arms, bladder, head and neck, legs, genital and urinary organs.
Sarcoma happens when abnormal cells grow together in the connective tissues and bones to form tumors. Sarcoma is a rare cancer in adults but less rare in children.
Skin cancer happens when skin cells grow abnormally. There are three main types of skin cancer. Basal and squamous cell cancers are the most common and are usually found on skin frequently exposed to the sun. Melanoma frequently develops in a mole and is the most serious form of skin cancer.
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC), also called oat cell lung cancer, makes up about 10 to 15 percent of all lung cancers. This aggressive, fast-growing lung cancer spreads much more quickly than non-small cell lung cancer. It typically starts in cells in the breathing tubes (bronchi), and small cancer cells grow quickly to form large tumors.
Small Intestine Cancer
Small intestine cancer happens when abnormal cells grow together in the small intestine to form masses called tumors. Cancer in the small intestine is very rare and affects how the small intestine breaks down food that has been swallowed and absorbs nutrients from that food into the blood stream.
Spleen cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells reproduce rapidly and begin interfering with the organ’s normal operation. Located behind the rib cage, the spleen is part of the body’s lymphatic system. Spleen cancer is unusual, in that it only rarely develops within the organ itself. The great majority of cases occur when the disease spreads to the spleen from another part of the body.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is one of the most common forms of cancer. It originates in the flat and scale-like cells that form the outer surface of numerous bodily structures, including the mouth, esophagus, blood vessels, lung alveoli, and the epidermis or skin. This type of cancer frequently develops on parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight or other, artificial sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, often begins in the cells lining the stomach. This type, known as adenocarcinoma, is the most commonly diagnosed form of stomach cancer. Other types of stomach cancer include gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumors and lymphomas – but these are very rare.
Testicular cancer is a rare condition that happens when abnormal cells grow together in the male reproduction glands inside the scrotum and form tumors.
Throat cancer happens when abnormal cells grow together in the throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) or tonsils and form tumors. Throat cancer is rare and typically begins in the flat cells that line the inside of the throat.
Thymus cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells reproduce rapidly and begin interfering with the thymus’ normal operation. Located in the upper chest, the thymus is part of the body’s lymphatic system. There are two primary forms of thymus cancer, both of which originate in the epithelial or lining cells of the organ. The first, thymoma, is a slow-to-develop tumor that usually remains local. The second, thymic carcinoma, is more aggressive, growing faster and often spreading through the body by means of the lymphatic system.
Thyroid cancer happens when abnormal cells grow together and form tumors in the thyroid. The thyroid is responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism, blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate.
Ureter cancer begins in the cells that line the tubes (ureters) connecting the kidneys to the bladder. Part of the urinary tract, the ureters carry urine produced by the kidneys to the bladder.
Ureter cancer symptoms, treatments and prognosis depends on its type, size, stage and the location of lesions.
Urethral cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells reproduce rapidly and begin interfering with the organ’s normal operation. The urethra is a hollow tube that drains urine from the bladder. There are three kinds of urethral cancer, as defined by cell types and where they develop: squamous cell carcinoma, transitional cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. A number of factors predispose individuals for urethral cancer, including having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or bladder cancer.
Uterine cancer happens when abnormal cells grow together and form masses called tumors in the uterus (womb) in a woman’s pelvis. There are two types of uterine cancer. Endometrial is the most common type. Uterine sarcoma is the second type, which develops in tissue and muscle that support the uterus. Uterine sarcomas are rare.
Vaginal cancer is not common and occurs in the cells that line the surface of the vagina. The main types of vaginal cancer are:
- Squamous cell carcinoma, which starts in the thin, flat cells that line the vagina.
- Adenocarcinoma, which starts in the cells that line the vagina that make mucus.
Vulvar cancer happens when abnormal cells grow together in the female external genitals, known as the vulva, to form tumors. The vulva surrounds the urethra and vagina, and cancer may form on the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris.